Labour MP suspended after ‘hollow’ apology for genocide remarks on HMD

Edmonton MP Kate Osamor has had the whip withdrawn by her party after suggesting Gaza should be added to list of genocides


Labour's chief whip has suspended MP Kate Osamor from the Parliamentary Labour Party pending an investigation after she said that Gaza should be added to a list of “recent genocides” when taking part in remembrance for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Kate Osamor, the MP for Edmonton, sent local party members an email on Friday pointing out that it was HMD on Saturday.

Osamor said she thought there was an “international duty to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.”

She went on to list the “more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia” to be remembered on HMD, adding that there was one also happening “in Gaza.”

Osamor tweeted an apology on Friday night saying: “I apologise for any offence caused by my reference to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza.”

A Board of Deputies statement condemned “the attempts by Kate Osamor to link the Holocaust to the current situation in Gaza. The industrialised mass murder of six million Jews is in no way comparable to Israel’s efforts to uproot Hamas from Gaza.

“We believe Ms Osamor was perfectly aware of what she was saying and therefore view her apology as utterly hollow. We call for the Labour Party to immediately remove the whip.”

The London Jewish Forum also condemned the MP’s comments. It said Osamor had “insulted the Holocaust survivors who so bravely share their testimony.

“Kate Osamor’s apology is too little too late, she should be suspended from the PLP whilst this incident is properly investigated.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust described Osamor’s statement as a “disgusting malicious distortion of the truth.”

She said it was “a painful insult to survivors of the Holocaust and particularly distressing to see on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.”

A spokesman for the Jewish Labour Movement said: “This is wholly inappropriate. This week we have been commemorating the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust — and those who perished in subsequent genocides, as listed by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

“Unilaterally co-opting the war in Gaza, despite the horrific suffering there, on to that list is wrong and offensive.”

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